2006 -


When I really wish to understand something I usually end up in the workshop trying to make a physical model or illustration of what i havent understood.
I have always thought that even the most complicated mathematical challenge or whatever else being looked at as something hard to fully understand for us humans – can simply be explained with a carefully chosen model of communication, so even a small child can grasp the essence of the matter in question.
So – once in the late years of the last century I sat reading a book about the universe, the milky way and our solar system that we all live in and all I read was millions of kilometers or light years or whatever – which didn’t at all give me any real understanding of the true dimensions or distances that I could relate to.
I was lost in space – so to say.
So I did what I normally do – I went into my workshop and found a tiny glass sphere of maybe 1 cm of diameter and said to myself — hello my friend – you are the planet Pluto – and I want to know where all your other fellow planets are and how big they are in relation to you. I started a little game with myself – and little I knew then that to make Pluto that size was a lucky pick.
After a few hours of calculations I had found the size of all the other planets in relation to Pluto and the size that I had chosen was actually 200 million times smaller than the real full-scale Planet Pluto.
With all the sizes clarified I picked up a map of my local area – namely the western part of Lofoten. So naturally I put the earth down on the map outside my house at Reine and from there I found out that the Sun had to be 700 meters away to be in the right scale. And when the Sun had found a good position on a little hill in a good view distance from my home I started drawing circles around the sun with a big compass – to find possible good positions for the other respective planets circling around the Sun in our solar system
Luckily I found some dry land for them all and I realized that it all fitted surprisingly well – like it was all ment to be like this. I was happy to think of all the planets – how they circled the sun – I saw the picture – I was content. I had understood how the solar system was put together in distances and proportions.
Since then when I was walking for day trips around the island with my daughters or friends I told them where I had put my imaginary planets – and people seemed to enjoy this and slowly the idea grew in my head that maybe one days I should actually build this model of the solar system – for real . And once the idea had settled in my head there was no turning back.
During this period my friend – filmmaker Lars had been hanging around me with his camera for a couple of years working on a documentary about my doings and my thoughts – so we thought it was a good idea to tie the whole film together around the creation of this local planetarium — Planet Lofoten. And so we did.

Today some years after the realization of the Documentary Film , PANTA REI
that was honored with an Award for Creativity at the world largest Art film Festival (FIFA) in Montreal Canada some of the planets are still waiting to find their home in the Nature – but that’s ok with me – knowing that some time they will all be in position.

I hope people can enjoy Planet Lofoten for what it is – an Artwork or a little play with stones – Remember when you walk in the landscape of Planet Lofoten – you fly with the speed of light — that means you will spend around 7 minutes walking from the earth to the sun –
And remember — Pluto is waiting for you a Værøy — still a planet – small but significant

jan wanggaard
December 2010

Uranus, Hellsegga, planet lofoten, wanggaard, landart


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December 2, 2010 | News » PLANET LOFOTEN-BLOG

Not big but significant – Pluto has the size of a sweet grape, if the earth had the size of a big blue plum. (Planet Lofoten 1 : 2 million ). Planet Pluto is placed on top of a long rusty steel rod at the […]